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Shock closures no longer shock

Media Release 12 December 2007.

Shock closures no longer shock…

The New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association, (MEA), says that the news of yet more job losses, this time at Kohler’s Englefield factory in Auckland, is getting to be business as usual.

“The reasons given by Kohler as to why it is closing its Auckland factory are the same reasons that have driven other companies offshore or into downsizing this year – exchange rates, competition from cheap imports and no longer viable to operate in New Zealand. However, the response we are getting from the Government, commentators and other business sectors, is this is just part of the economic process and those made redundant will find jobs elsewhere so why worry if we lose another company offshore”, says Chief Executive John Walley.

“It is easier to be fatalistic and look the other way, than it is to work at meaningful solutions. When supply chains fail the consequences are subtle but devastating – we are watching our economy lose its productive capability, one bit at a time”.

Mr. Walley says that the Government has policy options available that it can use to stem the further loss of manufacturing jobs; however “it appears to be caught like a possum in the headlights waiting for the impact”.

“It is not so much a case of what we can do now, rather it is what we can do for the future to support and encourage the development of productive activity that really supports the growth of complex exports from New Zealand. It is too late to save the jobs at Kohler but it is not too late to save the jobs and workplace knowledge at other companies. However, if we continue doing what has been done to date, then more job losses are inevitable”.


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